For a long time, most small and medium enterprises [SMEs] in Kenya have been making business decisions mostly based on guesswork and unreliable estimations. However, the advent of big data is set to revolutionize the way SMEs make strategic business decisions more so in the realms of marketing and public relations. SMD Consulting Associates is leading the way on its part by offering advisories services to clients relying on insights drawn from data ensuring strategic decisions are evidenced based rather than practical guesswork.
First, let’s unpack the term ‘Big Data’. It is a term in computing that refers to extremely large data sets that may be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, and association, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. The phenomenon has taken the globe by storm and it’s the current buzzword being dropped around in business circles.
So, why should SMEs in Kenya adopt big data in execution in marketing & public relations?
The data revolution couldn’t have come at a much better time when businesses are operating in an extremely dynamic environment where customers have become much sophisticated as their tastes and preferences change frequently. In the end, it has become difficult for SMEs in Kenya to predict consumer behaviour with accuracy.
Marketing and Public Relations experts have been a pain in trying to target their campaigns. This comes in the wake of pressure from top management for them to show a return on investment [ROI] when undertaking various marketing and public relations activities. By using insights from big data, the SMEs will be able to formulate clear actionable strategies that are well grounded in evidence thereby improving their decision-making capabilities. Large data sets in purchase behaviour, consumption trends, consumer movement/ locations, social media usage among others will be pivotal in planning programs in marketing and public relations. This, in the end, will enable them to have more successful campaigns than in the past.
As far as marketing and public relations are concerned, there are lots of opportunities for SMEs to have a deeper understanding of customers. Today, social sentiment analysis tells marketers about their customer habits and behaviours in more intimate detail than ever. This knowledge will be invaluable when it comes to developing and delivering innovative products and services as well as predicting future opportunities in waiting. SMEs will be able to match products to customers and work out ways to reach them successfully.
Having produced products and services that meet customers’ needs, the businesses will need to retain customers not only to guard against competition but also to keep up with their changing tastes and preferences. Once identified from the data sets, customers can be targeted with personalized incentives based on their usage patterns. In the long run, the data will enable SMEs to increase customer retention rates.
It is no doubt whatsoever that big data holds a lot of promise for SMEs in Kenya. A starting point should be the incorporation of a data strategy in the business operations. There's a lot of data out there and not all of it is relevant for the business. To this end, SMEs should only be concerned with relevant data and ignore vanity metrics. At SMD Consulting Associates, through our sub-brand SMD Intelligence Hub we collate relevant data sets and draw sharp insights that we use to advise our clients so as to optimize their capabilities. It is imperative that SMEs in Kenya master the data revolution because it is the future.